Some people are so organized that they always have time to brew up loose leaf tea. And some people are so organized that they always remember to visit their local tea shop or their favorite tea web site before they run out of everything. And people who are that organized don’t need tea bags from the supermarket. But some of us, like me, have moments when we’re too scatterbrained to be fooling with loose tea, and/or too broke to be allowed near a tea shop.
And for people like me, it’s great to know that there’s a drinkable, even refreshing, tea available from any supermarket. The big advantages of mass-market tea bags are the C’s: convenience, consistency, cost. The convenience both of being able to go to your nearest supermarket, and of brewing tea bags, is something that some dedicated tea drinkers overlook; let’s face it, a lot of people will *only* drink tea if it’s convenient, and that’s how we draw more people into the world of tea. As for consistency, big-company teas like this taste reliably the same from batch to batch, box to box, and the company keeps making them – not a limited edition or a hand blend that you may never see again. And of course, cost – more about that below.
Celestial Seasonings has several “Zinger” herbal teas, starting with the original Red Zinger. In all of them, the dominant flavors are hibiscus and rosehips, and I find a trace of citrus flavor in all of them, but this one is more citrus-y that the others. The addition of tangerine to the orange makes for a lighter orange flavor.
Celestial Seasonings describes this tea as:
“There’s no mistaking a Zinger®! In this lively blend, effervescent tangerines, juicy oranges and a whisper of passionfruit flavor mingle with sweet-tart hibiscus – whose deep red color and tangy flavor give Zingers their zing. Possessing delightfully soothing qualities when hot, this tea is especially refreshing served over ice.” — Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975
About cost – one of the big things about herbal teas is that they can be drunk late at night, since there’s no caffeine – so a person might drink more of this than of “real” tea. Another is that all the Zingers, including this one, taste very good iced, with a little bit of sugar (but not too much) to bring out the fruit flavor, and with less expensive tea, it’s possible to make a couple of quarts at a time without a second thought.
If you are on a diet that calls for 8 cups of water a day, you’ll be pleased to know that caffeine-free unsweetened tea counts as water; I carry this around in my re-usable water bottle to sip when I’m outdoors, when I’m in a warm room, when I’ve been pulling up weeds – so it’s quite possible to go through more than a quart a day! It’s much more interesting than plain water. It also tastes *excellent* mixed half-and-half with orange juice, for a beverage full of vitamin C and some electrolytes, and also tastes good with a splash of carbonated water added – a do-it-yourself tea soda really cuts through the hot weather.
One thing to note is that since these tea bags are not individually wrapped – they’re in a waxed-paper liner in the box – they need to be used up relatively quickly, before the flavoring fades or goes stale. If one is making several quarts at a time to drink like water, of course, that’s not a problem!